Writes: Edo Sadikovic, May 2023

Start anything. Without fear.

“I am learning how to build a coffee machine, it weighs only 30 grams, and you can transport it anywhere.”

A few days ago I met a friend in front of the post office.

Every time we speak  he is telling me about starting his own project. He is full of good ideas. But never, ever launch any of it. He says he is afraid. 

Afraid of what others might think. Afraid if it’s going to work. Afraid of risk. Afraid of unknown. 

The world would look different today if so many people wouldn’t be afraid to finish and publish their products and projects. 

I was thinking a lot on how we can jump over this being afraid thing

And I think I have an idea.  

It works so well. So well that I discovered it within other builders, makers, doers, and entrepreneurs who build new things over and over again. 

It’s like I discovered the special chemical cell within our human bodies that we didn’t know we have. And once we awake it, we can start building without being afraid. 

Here is it:  

Instead of starting building our businesses to become rich, or to become free, or cool, or to get a name tag “entrepreneur” we should start building for the sake of learning.

Yes, learning. 

That is it. 

When we do it because of learning, then we are not shy of the process. Everyone knows that learners are still learning. Then everyone will accept the ignorance which occurs during the the learning process which allows to make as many mistakes as possible. 

But if we say instead: “Hey, I am an entrepreneur, I am building a coffee machine and I will sell it online, make a lot of money, and work from anywhere“, then it builds fake expectations for you and for others around you. It also looks like a bragging too. 

This statement automatically creates fear of “what if I don’t make it as an entrepreneur, what if I fail, and I already told everyone that I will do it”. 

All this pressure blocks us and we quit. 

You could agree that this sounds much better: “I am learning how to build a 30g coffee machine, but I am struggling to find proper tool to construct it...”. Like this everyone will admire you even before you build it. 

And why?

Because, people tend to respects students, curious people, learners, and explorers. 

And we should. 

Learners are admired in our society. We see so many news similar to “80 yrs old granny started university” or “After graduating medicine, she realised it’s not for her, so she started learning programming”, or “this kid learned on YouTube how to build his own garden in the backyard”.  

When you learn while building, you get honest and gratis feedbacks all the time. Good feedbacks are like extra life in the building process. 

In order that all of this works, we need to be genuinely interested in learning. 

The best part is that this learning doesn’t have rules. It’s not like obligatory school where we were pushed to learn. It means that we can use any tool to learn something. An experiment, a YouTube, a mentor, we can just ask, learn at travels… Your job is to learn how, and then to do it. 

This learning attitude makes us brave because we are constantly faced with the comfortable unknown. In another situation, maybe we would quit, because it looks difficult, but now we know that all it takes is to learn it.

Building projects while learning is like uncovering maps in video games. They just open when we put our flashlight on it and learn what’s in front of us. 

And one more thing.

When something is difficult to learn, that is very good. If it’s not difficult then anyone would do it. Best opportunities are hidden in difficult and unexplored zones. 

From today, instead of saying: “I am afraid to build my new illustration course” say instead “I will learn how to build my illustration course, and I will learn how to teach so my students follow the course.”

After all, we wouldn’t have any inventions or progress if we didn’t learn first.

Now, start exploring this possibility. Learn to build something small just because you want to learn how it works. Then consider sharing it with the world. 

This was my intro speech from the latest training on building tiny projects and social businesses. Held in Sende, where we build a bunch of random stuff. May 2023


Built Sende, the first rural coworking and coliving space. Writes on LinkedIn and on Sende’s blog. Made a training on coworking and coliving. Love to chat, teach and write about borders, maps, conflicts, coliving, rural, about the power of small social businesses.